Free Back to School Classroom Giveaway

Sierra Club Names NYU Among Its Most Eco-Enlightened Universities for 2010

Vermicomposting: What It Is and How It Works...

Eco Jewelry Cleaner Safe, Sustainable, Luxurious…SHINE

nature conserve

friendship bag

Free Back to School
Classroom Giveaway

Leading green website WorldofGreen.com is giving away eco-friendly school supplies valued at $250.00. The free supplies include messenger bags made from recycled plastic bottles, pencils and notebooks made from discarded newspapers or sugarcane and soy-based inks.

"We realize that non-toxic and sustainable green products cost a little more because of the way they are produced," said founder Roberta Modena. "We also know that many schools have restricted budgets and wanted to give a needy elementary classroom a chance to experience and enjoy these fun, earth-friendly alternatives first-hand."

Nominations will be accepted through September 2nd, 2010. Tell them why it is important to reuse, reduce and recycle and you could win eco-friendly school supplies for your child’s classroom or a classroom in need.  Visit their website, www.worldofgreen.com for all the details!

World of Green is a unique internet shopping experience that makes finding the latest green information and earth-friendly products for home & garden, family and natural beauty more convenient.

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Sierra Club Names NYU Among
Its Most Eco-Enlightened Universities for 2010

The Sierra Club has recognized New York University as one of the United States’ eco-enlightened universities, or “Cool Schools,” in the September/October 2010 issue of Sierra Magazine. http://www.sierraclub.org/coolschools

“We're proud to be recognized by Sierra magazine for a second straight year,” said Jeremy Friedman, NYU’s manager of Sustainability Initiatives. “NYU’s comprehensive approach to measuring and reducing our environmental impact is a university-wide effort, engaging students, faculty, and administrators, resulting in an impressive 20% energy reduction in just the past three years. NYU placed 19th in the list, up from 20th in 2009. NYU was recognized for its efforts across eight categories: efficiency, energy supply, food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management, and administration.

Highlights of NYU’s sustainability initiatives include:

• An extensive upgrade of the university's underground cogeneration plant (CoGen) will cut NYU’s greenhouse gas emissions by 23%. CoGen will generate electricity for 21 NYU buildings, provide steam heating and water chilling to a number of others, and provide a publically-accessible 12,500 square-foot “green-roof”—a ground-level landscaped plaza atop the plant on Mercer Street;

• NYU’s campus landscaping uses no fertilizers or pesticides, drip irrigation, and native plant species, making it 100% organic;

• NYU’s Dining Services sources sustainable, locally-purchased, and organic food whenever possible, and vegan entree options are available in all cafeterias;

• Mixed recycling as well as dining and residence hall composting is diverting nearly 40% of NYU’s solid waste from landfills; and

• NYU’s Facilities and Construction Management group has installed 3,500+ lighting occupancy sensors and 3,500+ heating/AC occupancy sensors in NYU classrooms, offices, and residence halls, saving the University over 3,600,000kWh each year - about 840 metric tons of carbon equivalent emissions.

“With all of the environmental challenges we face, it’s heartening to see the leadership schools like New York University demonstrate when it comes to protecting the planet,” said Michael Brune, the Sierra Club’s executive director. “This generation of students cares deeply about protecting the environment, stopping global warming, and increasing our prosperity through innovation.”

“We’ve been able to learn from other schools - and from the remarkable students, faculty and staff that make up our community - to zoom forward and make big strides in just three short years,” Friedman added. “We hope that being named a ‘Cool School’ by Sierra magazine gives NYU even more momentum so that we can continue to better address NYU's environmental impacts and build a campus culture of sustainability."

NYU’s Sustainability Task Force is an advisory body composed of students, faculty, administrators, and staff, who develop recommendations for new policies and practices that advance NYU’s long-term future as a sustainable university. For more information on the Sustainability Task Force, please go to http://www.nyu.edu/sustainability

Sierra magazine has 1.2 million readers and is a publication of the Sierra Club, the nation’s oldest and largest grassroots environmental group. For full descriptions of each winning school’s green efforts, visit Sierra magazine online at: www.sierraclub.org/coolschools

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Vermicomposting
What It Is and How It Works…

Virtually untouched for centuries, Little St. Simons Island is a barrier island off Georgia’s coast that features seven miles of pristine beaches, cottages for just 32 overnight guests, ancient maritime forests, tidal creeks and shimmering marshes. The island offers a rare combination of complete privacy in an unspoiled wilderness with the genuine Southern hospitality of the island’s attentive and knowledgeable staff. Accessible only by boat, Little St. Simons Island retains that charm and unhurried pace of coastal living where time is measured only by the rise and fall of the tides.

In 2008, Little St. Simons Island’s garden received organic certification from the USDA. Since then, the island’s vermicomposting and 3-bin composting systems have worked overtime to generate the rich “black gold”/compost that resulted in a fertile garden delivering fresh vegetables and herbs served to the island’s guests. Amy Shuster, Little St. Simons Island’s gardener, and the island’s team of naturalists share great info on just how easy it is to incorporate composting into the everyday home. And, fall is the ideal time for us to begin, so let’s get started!

Vermicomposting Background
The cool temperatures, particularly the milder late fall, winter and early spring temperatures in the American south, pave the way to perfect conditions for active composting systems. Calcium deposits from Red wiggler worms contribute to the rich soil produced through vermicomposting and are deposited at optimum pace during the cooler months. The cooler temperatures result in increased rates of reproduction; therefore, food is broken down more quickly and efficiently with additional worms who are responsible for eating the microorganisms that break down the food. Food waste is a major component in landfills and releases detrimental methane, a greenhouse gas that is 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Americans throw away lots of food waste each year which equals more than 25% of the food we prepare! For example, a family of four generates on average one pound of kitchen scraps each day.

These simple steps to creating an at-home vermicomposting system will turn kitchen scraps into rich “black gold,” not only giving the disposal a break, but also reducing greenhouse gases all while creating fertile soil, the foundation for a successful garden!

Vermicomposting Guide

1. Select a worm bin. A popular plastic vermicomposting unit is Can O’Worms which can be found at several online retailers. Benefits of this system include the enclosed tiered system (which greatly helps to reduce odors) and a tray at the bottom of the unit designed to trap the highly sought after “vermicompost tea.” This unit features three trays in which the worms work through the trays processing waste and depositing their castings on the lower level. If you’d like to make a system at home with materials in hand, a ventilated plastic bin (such as a recycling bin) works well. Guard ventilation holes with netting to prevent worms from escaping.

2. Purchase red wigglers or red worms which are packed in peat and can be ordered from various online sites.

3. Gather your bedding materials. Cardboard, torn into small pieces, and shredded newspaper are ideal materials. Avoid glossy paper from newspaper inserts, magazines, coated cardboard and shredded office paper as these may contain toxins harmful to the worms.

4. Moisten bedding materials with dechlorinated water (to dechlorinate: allow jugs of water from the faucet to sit out in the open for 1-2 days). Slowly add water to bedding materials until materials become damp, simulating the feel of a wrung-out sponge. If possible, add garden soil to your bedding materials at this stage. The worms will benefit from the gritty texture and the microorganisms introduced by the soil will expedite the breaking down of scraps.

5. Place bedding in bin and add worms. Allow bin to be exposed to light during the first hour to encourage worms to burrow into soil as they escape the light. Cover bin and set aside for 2-3 days before adding scraps, allowing the worms to nestle into their new home. When kept happy, worms can turn kitchen waste to rich compost in 1-2 months.

6. Store bin in a cool and convenient location, ideally between 55-80 degrees F.

7. Spread scraps around bottom tray, cover with bedding materials and allow the worms to work! Ideal scraps include raw vegetables, coffee grounds, egg shells, fruit, and cereal.

For more info about Little St. Simon Island, visit www.littlestsimonsisland.com.

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Eco Jewelry Cleaner
Safe, Sustainable, Luxurious…SHINE

SHINE by Colle is a one of a kind all natural, non-toxic jewelry cleansing mousse and the brainchild of CEO and Founder, Thadine Clifton, who was tired of harsh chemical cleaners and the toothbrush method of cleaning jewelry. Clifton’s twenty-five year business Colle Corporation is in the business of assisting companies with specialty cleansers and disposing of chemical waste. She took this knowledge and “applied it to everyday household products”. When purchasing this product, you are helping Colle give back to One to World, a United Nation’s support program.

Effective and easy-to-use, SHINE delivers. The luxurious mousse formula made for an easy cleaning job—only 3-5 minutes depending on the condition of the jewelry. According to the company, it works on gold, silver, platinum, diamonds and semi-precious jewelry. It is not recommended for emeralds, natural and cultured pearls. Even the packaging is eco-friendly and is 100% recyclable.

ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE, as all materials are sourced from eco-friendly distributors, are toxic-free, and all packaging is 100% recyclable.

SAFE to use on all of your favorite gold, silver, platinum and diamond pieces, in addition to your costume jewelry. Though not recommended for emeralds and pearls. ECO-

CONSCIOUS, Thadine vowed to change the industrial cleaning industry by developing eco-friendly industrial cleaners, ones that would protect the earth from harsh chemicals.

A FORAY INTO JEWELRY, Shine by Collé is the first line of new, non-toxic consumer products designed for those who want to look their best, while remaining environmentally conscious. You can order direct ($14.95 plus shipping) or visit the company website (CLICK HERE) to find a retailer near you that sells SHINE.

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